China attacks UN rights chief for criticizing its draconian new security law

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mr Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mr Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein.

(, Jul11, 2015) – China has sought to severely reprimand the UN’s top human rights officer after the latter criticized its new national security law for enabling more restrictions on rights and freedoms, reported AFP Jul 9. As a matter of fact, the new law has already been condemned by Chinese activists both within and outside the country as well as by international human rights organizations for giving virtually unbridled powers to officials over citizens.

The new law “leaves the door wide open to further restrictions of the rights and freedoms of Chinese citizens, and to even tighter control of civil society by the Chinese authorities than there is already,” information released by the UN quoted UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein as saying Jul 7. The new wide-ranging legislation greatly expanded the Chinese government’s legal reach over the Internet and even outer space.

Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying has responded by saying her government was “strongly dissatisfied with, and opposed to” Zeid’s comments. “This not only constitutes interference in China’s domestic affairs but also reveals he is unprofessional,” she was reported to have added.

Since President Xi Jinping came to power, the ruling Communist Party has taken a series of measures to enforced stricter controls on the rights of Chinese citizens. It also released a draft cybersecurity law earlier in the week to allow authorities to shut down the Internet “in some regions” in the event of a security breach.

It also “stipulates that network operators and Internet authorities are obliged to stop the spread of posts that break laws”, the state-run English-language China Daily newspaper reported Jul 9. “They also must record such breaches and report them to appropriate bodies.”


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